IBM Wants to Control Canadian Cannabis with Blockchain Technology

Watson’s creator is angling for the Canadian government to adopt blockchain technology. The move from IBM comes as British Columbia is developing new rules for the sale of legalized weed. Experts predict Canada’s cannabis industry to be a $4 billion market.

A document produced by the tech giant states that blockchain ensures consumer safety and regulatory oversight “from seed to sale.” B.C. is preparing for the legalization of cannabis in July 2018. The government is courting public feedback on how to put in place industry regulations. 

The blue-chip company notes that blockchain is "cryptographically-secure." A shared ledger can track complex transactions. Blockchain has many key features that would allow B.C. to control all facets of the supply-chain. It is an unalterable, transparent, distributed ledger system that can end fraud and protect privacy.

“Blockchain is rapidly becoming a world-leading technology enabling the assured exchange of value in both digital and tangible assets,” IBM’s report states. “Its relevance to regulating cannabis is similar to its many chain of custody applications in areas such as pharmaceutical distribution and food chains.” 

IBM is looking for long-term revenue growth in the face of declining legacy sales. They are pushing blockchain technology everywhere from financial services to cargo shipping.

The report concludes with some potential benefits of adopting the new technology. B.C. would control sourcing, ending marijuana sales on the black market. Real-time inventory would allow for greater tracking of marijuana sales.

IBM is not the first company to marry blockchain to the marijuana trade. In July Colorado-based CyberCar partnered with WebJoint, a software-as-a-service company in the medical marijuana space. The partnership allows WebJoint to expand its point of sale control via monitoring of delivery vehicles using blockchain.

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